Federal officials join with local agencies to protect Emery County from flash flooding

May 14, 2018, 11:04 PM

ORANGEVILLE, Utah – Residents in Emery County are breathing a sigh of relief now that a multi-million dollar project to protect Orangeville and other areas from flash flooding is finished.

It was a frightening sight during the summers of 2014 and 2015: a river of fast moving mud and debris sweeping down the creek beds and in some spots, overflowing the banks.

“There is a home right down here that every time it flooded, we would be down there sandbagging,” said Roger Swenson, the mayor of Orangeville, who says the small town was always at the mercy of Mother Nature.

“This creek was full of water and flooded our city parks, our baseball fields and threatened some homes down here and farm lands,” Swenson added.

But the damage wasn’t just happening in Orangeville.

The dirty water was polluting irrigation water and plugging pipes with mud. So local and federal agencies teamed up, making improvements to seven locations in the county, where flash flooding was causing problems, including a way to capture and keep flood waters from reaching clean water sources, according to Jay Mark Humphrey, with the Emery Water Conservancy District.

“This structure here will prevent sedimentation from reaching the reservoir and filling the pipelines with sediment, that goes to the irrigators, the cities and the power plant,” he said.

The federal Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program helped to fund the $4 million effort and is expected to reap $9 million in benefits.

“Now that we have provided this protection to those homes, the roads the infrastructure, the utilities, the people of Emery County will be a little safer during a flood,” said Bronson Smart, the NRCS state engineer for Utah.

Government entities working together that will allow people in Emery County to sleep again through a thunderstorm.
“When the thunderstorms hit in August, I don’t have to run down here to make sure we are not flooded,” Mayor Swenson said.

He is hopeful that the city will be able to expand its city park, and perhaps add a softball field, now that the park is better protected.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Outdoors & Adventure

There are five kinds of rattlesnakes that populate Utah (DWR)...
Shara Park and Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Utahns experiencing close encounters of the rattlesnake kind

As you make plans to head to the great outdoors this holiday weekend, you may want to heed the warning about rattlesnakes.
1 month ago
FILE: The sun sets over Canyonlands National Park. (Ken Fall)...
JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer

Federal agencies reverse Trump limits on habitat protection in Endangered Species Act

The Biden administration is dropping a rule adopted under former President Donald Trump that limited which lands and waters could be designated as critical habitat for imperiled animals and plants.
2 months ago
red flag warning Utah...
Larry D. Curtis

Fire, wind and heat warnings issued for much of Utah

At temperatures jumped significantly from Wednesday to Thursday, much of the state is under warnings for high wind, excessive heat and high fire danger.
2 months ago
Angels Landing Zion National Park...
Larry D. Curtis

KSL’s Chopper 5 and photojournalist document Utah’s unique beauty

Utah's unique geography, that includes mountains, deserts, lakes and snow, bring visitors from around the world. KSL photojournalist Meghan Thackrey is part of a team that documents news on KSL TV's Chopper 5, giving her some pretty unique landscapes and geographic features to record.
2 months ago
A helicopter waits to transport an injured hiker to the hospital after a rock knocked her unconscio...
Shara Park, KSL TV

Is there an explanation for recent rockfalls in Utah?

A hiker is in the hospital after a rock the size of a tennis ball hit her on the Timpanogos Cave Trail. It happened around 7:15 a.m. Thursday, according to Sgt. Spencer Cannon of Utah County Sheriff's Office. Cannon said the rock knocked the 65-year-old woman unconscious and caused bleeding from her head.
2 months ago
Cougar California classroom...
Associated Press

Janitor confines cougar in empty California classroom

Authorities say a quick-thinking custodian safely confined a mountain lion in an empty classroom after it entered a Northern California high school.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Federal officials join with local agencies to protect Emery County from flash flooding